If you’re like most of us, your schedule is pretty tight. You’ve likely got a job, friends, and family all bidding for your time. Maybe there’s a hobby or two in there as well. Your time is precious—Jason Hartman knows this better than anyone. If you’re also someone who works a job, manages an investment property or two, and runs a few outside projects, it’s easy to fall into the trap of working all of the time.
Hard work is great, but smart work is better. To ensure you’re making the most of your time and allowing plenty of room for sleep, recreation, family, and exercise, we’ve got a few tips and tricks to streamline your life.
First, take a break. When we’re well rested, we’re more productive overall. While you’re spending less time doing actual work, you’re more efficient if you maintain balance in your life. You’ll avoid burnout by taking a 15 minute break for every 90 minutes you work (the human brain has a hard time maintaining focus for longer). And if you can’t spring for 15 minutes, settle for five—any break is better than no break.
Next, get into the habit of taking naps, which leads to increased cognitive function, enhanced creativity, and better memory. You’ll be able to absorb and retain information more easily because naps help solidify memory by pushing memories into the “permanent storage” part of the brain. Like breaks, naps also help prevent burnout by allowing your brain to rest before you ask it to retain even more information—which might be impossible without sleep.
You’ll also want to relax, and getting outdoors to do it can be really beneficial. Nature requires little attention, which provides more of a rest than city streets. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your work, take a walk to restore your energy and unwind. Getting outside your workplace has been shown to motivate people to, so step outside that office!
You can also try breaking up your work in new ways. Changing your work environment can be a good way to compartmentalize different tasks and be more productive. This strategy works best if you can work from different places (coffee shops or restaurants work great) and move based on accomplishing tasks rather than time spent in certain places.
Finally, learn to manage your email. Check it when you first begin work and address immediate concerns right away. Then, you can check your email sparingly and focus on more important things. (photo credit: thejbird via photopin cc)